Too Many Scams To Count
The popularity of cryptocurrencies are increasing but so are the scams. So, what can we do about it?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a US federal agency, said Elon Musk impersonators have stolen at least $2 million from investors in cryptocurrency scams over the past six months. Around 7,000 people have reported fake crypto investment from October through March and lost more than $80 million total. The agency added that the number is about 12 times the number of reports and almost 1,000% more in reported losses than the same period a year earlier.
The theft is part of a so-called giveaway scam, where scammers pose as celebrities or known figures and tell people that if they give a certain amount of cryptocurrency to them, they will get more back. The FTC said that the scammers also impersonate government authorities or a potential romantic partner.
Crypto Scams In India
Crypto scams are becoming a big problem in India as well, with many Indians losing lakhs of rupees. In August 2020, Manan Shah, Founder and CEO, Avalance Global Solutions, told IANS that several wealthy Indians are falling into the trap of fake cryptocurrency wallets. So, how does this work?
Scammers target people through sending them messages on various media groups, asking them to sell and buy Bitcoin via their app. The scammers trick them to buy and sell Bitcoin through wallets and offer them trade opportunities with other app users across the world. Once they receive Bitcoin into their systems, they disappear and stop communication altogether.
Other types of scams include giving fake altcoins to people. Before they could be identified as fake, millions of dollars worth such fake coin have already been sold to users.
Everyone Wants Crypto
It is pretty clear that cryptocurrency scams are on the rise. However, it doesn’t come as a complete surprise considering how many people are jumping onto the cryptocurrency boat. What was once seen as a highly unsafe investment option is now being seen as a safe haven asset by many.
And why wouldn’t they want to jump on this boat, with bitcoin hitting a record high price of nearly $50,000 in February. The reason behind the jump in prices could be attributed to many companies, including Starbucks, Visa and WholeFoods, accepting bitcoin as a form of payment. In fact, bitcoin has become so popular, that there are bitcoin ATMs now. According to Statista, there were nearly 14,000 bitcoin ATMs all over the world, as of January 2021.
Apart from Bitcoin, Ethereum and dogecoin also touched record-high prices earlier in 2021. Celebrities like Maisie Williams, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Gwyneth Paltrow support cryptocurrencies, and they own them as well. So, many involve themselves in cryptocurrency trading without completely understanding what it is all about and scammers take advantage of people’s ignorance.
If you ever come across a post or tweet or email, even if it is from a celebrity, saying that they can double your money in a short period of time, do not fall for it. The accounts of celebrities could be hacked and fake statements can be posted in a bid to take money from people. Also, if someone tells that they will give you ‘free cryptocurrency’, or make big claims without details or explanations, then stay away from them.
If you ever encounter any such posts, you can report them and notify the authorities. These are definitely tough times and these kinds of posts might be enticing. However, several people lose lakhs of rupees on these scams, so be careful when you come across them on social media.
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